Sunday, November 28, 2004


David Broder's delirium

In today's Washington Post, David Broder takes issue with columnists such as Maureen Dowd of the NY Times who, according to Broder "suggested the other day that 'the forces of darkness' are taking over the country."

Broder's first counterexample—the trading-in of Attorney General John Ashcroft for torture-apologist Alberto Gonzales—is not reassuring. Nor is his faith in some of the Republican Senators—

Among them are many, including such conservatives as Pat Roberts and Thad Cochran, whom I would trust to defend my journalistic freedom -- or Dowd's -- no matter how much they disagreed with what we wrote.

Even more unbelievably Broder writes—

I can count two dozen Senate Republicans who have experienced with their own families and friends the pain of mental or physical illness, or poverty, or racial or sexual discrimination.

Do you think they would stand silent while a vendetta against any of those groups was carried out?

Excuse me, David. David? Were you in a coma during the last campaign? Did you hear any of those two dozen Republicans speak out against anything other than Janet Jackson's tit?

And what does Broder think all the gloom and doom is about?

The exaggerated reaction to the election among many liberals was set off by the belief that Bush owes his victory to a bunch of religious zealots bent on imposing their views on the whole society.

The "exaggerated reaction" of the liberals I know was set off by the events occurring over the last four years of the Bush administration and the anticipation of more to come. If Broder is going to continue to claim to be a moderate, he really should try to meet some liberals.

Broder is reassured that Bush's win was a narrow one—

Once they recover from their disappointment, Democrats will realize that winning 48 percent of the popular vote in a high-turnout election, as Kerry did, provides a sturdy base from which to climb back into power.

Bush won, but he will have to work within the system for whatever he gets. Checks and balances are still there. The nation does not face "another dark age," unless you consider politics, with all its trade-offs and bargaining, a black art.

David Broder has become, by virtue of longevity, the grand old man of "moderate" pundits. You can see him on PBS' "Washington Week," issuing insights in sober, nuanced tones. What he seems not to see is that the days of "trade-offs and bargaining" are a thing of the past. Both the Administration and the Republican Congress are besotted with power and in no mood for shilly-shallying. The destruction of Fallujah perfectly reflects their intent. Domestically they would like to do the same to all things "liberal."

But Broder is right about one thing—members of the Congressional leadership are developing a mind of their own. We may hope that their monster egos will turn to devouring each other. It is certainly not so beyond belief as the rest of Broder's dream.

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